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In a two-year forecasting tournament, participants who actively engaged in predicting US domestic events were less polarized in their policy preferences than were non-forecasters. Self-reported political attitudes were more moderate among those who forecasted than those who did not. We also found evidence that forecasters attributed more moderate political attitudes to the opposing side.Mellers, B. Cognition. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cognition.2018.10.021
Forecasting tournaments are not a panacea for what ails our political conversations. Even the most accurate forecasters – including some who earn the Superforecaster® credential – occasionally express their views in polarizing prose and endorse opinions that many consider to be immoral. In that respect, forecasting accuracy is like other forms of competence − in Phil Tetlock’s words, “[t]here is no divinely mandated link between morality and competence.”
Nonetheless, we are optimistic that Good Judgment Open contributes to a more thoughtful public dialog and encourages our forecasters to listen carefully to points of view that they might otherwise dismiss. For example, we took great pleasure in hosting an “adversarial collaboration” challenge on the Iran nuclear deal, inspired by this New York Times op-ed co-written by Phil Tetlock and Peter Scoblic. We plan to engage GJO forecasters with more opportunities to test whether their views on controversial subjects lead to more or less accurate predictions.
As the 2020 election cycle intensifies, we forecast with near certainty (p>.99) that the public debate will grow even more heated and more personal. Together, let’s preserve Good Judgment Open as a place where facts and reasoned argument reign supreme. We have nothing to lose but our illusions.
 Tetlock, P., & D. Gardner (2015). Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction. New York: Crown. P. 229.
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